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Friday, April 8, 2011

Gates swings into his opportunity

Kenarious Gates doesn’t feel like a veteran yet. It’ll take more than three starts to consider himself one.

Still, in a year that the Georgia offensive line was disappointing overall, Gates was one of the few bright spots. Once a candidate to redshirt, he played well enough in seven games at guard to enter this spring first on the depth chart.

“That starting experience gave me a lot of confidence,” Gates said this week. “So this season I’ve kept my head straight. Just keep working hard, keep working hard, and keep my starting job.”

The 6-foot-5, 307-pound Gates was a three-star prospect coming out of Grantville High School in Greenville, according to Rivals and Gates was fully expecting to redshirt last year, especially with five proven linemen returning to start.

But the unit’s struggles saw Gates getting the call the week of the Tennessee game.

“I was shocked. I didn’t think I would get a chance to play in the season. I was just gonna work,” Gates said. “But when they told me I was gonna start that week, I knew I had to start working hard that day. When I first got out there it was a bit … But once I got in the game, I had fun and they kept me in there.”

Gates started the next three games at right guard, then came off the bench when Trinton Sturdivant entered the starting lineup at left tackle. (Cling Boling, who had started there, shifted to right guard.)

Now Boling is gone, and with Cordy Glenn shifting from guard to tackle, both guard spots are up for grabs. Gates appears in the most secure position, with three others – Justin Anderson, Chris Burnette and Kolton Houston – getting work at right guard.

Any of those three, and Brent Benedict, could move over and push Gates at left guard. But for the moment it appears Gates’ spot to lose.

“I’m gonna work real hard, knowing that spot could go away any day,” he said.


Big T said...

Never thought he would be that good
Gonna have 2 give him credit for it
Give him the props he deserves
You gotta hand it to him for being
Up to the competition as a freshman

Never did i think he was
Gonna step in + start 1st yr and
Run the 1st teamers out. I bet
Around Butts-Mehre CMR didnt either
And why would he? But 7 games in,
Desert the starters for this kid.
You gotta applaud this.

Big T said...

And that Mr Emerson, is how you just got Rick Rolled. Sorry, couldn't help it. and if i had more space to work with I could have made it better.

Anonymous said...

Greenville H.S. in Greenville Ga. and that's also where UGA's 5 star basketball signee plays. We can produce a star every once in awhile from Meriwether Co.

Suomynona said...

I'll take a 3 Star guy with heart and stellar work ethics over a entitle minded 4 or 5 Star anytime.

Bulldawg said...


Right on! See David Pollack for reference!

Randy said...

WOW where are all the Anon Nay sayers who bash on playing favorites, or not playing the best guy? Searls was crucified with those comments, but, here we go and find out thats not really true. Let's stop the crying and second guessing.

Anonymous said...

Still needs to prove he can Run Block. Jury still out on the offensive line. Just saying.....

meansonny said...

True. Working your way up the depth chart and having consistency out on the field during gametime are two different things.

That said... I like having young players with experience. It adds up and they should be able to compete at the highest level and succeed as upperclassmen.

We've got a lot of guys on the squad now that were contributing 2 years ago as freshman. It's time to collect the dividends from that investment this season.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Sounds like Gates could do great things. But the entire offensive line and even the defensive line needs to show vast improvement. That includes coaches too.